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Season 7 2019 Rewatch

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E01: And now my re watch has begun...

I just began the S7 rewatch and I’m not even halfway through E01, but I wanted to say that I had forgotten how GLORIOUSLY last season opened!  Arya’s taking out the entire House Frey clan was simply masterful! I actually forgot about it (memory = flaming pig shyte) so it was new again and I got to re live that AHA moment, it was just amazing. “When people ask what happened here, tell them Winter came for House Frey.” Fuck Yeah Arya! A Girl was meant to meet A Man for that one shining moment to come to fruition. More soon...but first I need a hot pie and a pint.

It was such a relief to see Jon and Sansa together again and engaged in sibling banter, she tells him he is ver6 good at ruling...little does she know he is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne if we’re going by Targ lineage. Is this a tiny anvil or Jon’s ultimate destiny? Surely if Jon manages to win the war against the Army of the Dead and against Crazy Cerse, his vision of ‘ruling’ would look very different I think, compared to what’s come in the past. Sort of Iron Throne, the Emancipation Version?

Euron is a still a smart piece of shite. And Poor Sam, cleaning all that I shit...His story is playing out a la Harry Potter what with the limited access to books he needs. Littlefinger trying to put ideas in Santa’s head, love her convo with Brienne, ‘I know exactly what he wants...” To me this was when Sansa really grew into her own person. She can’t be played by him anymore, that felt like a turning point for her. 

Th scene with the Brothers in the snow, riding up to the empty house, it reminded me that A Show is a bitch to horses...But The Not Yet Kentucky Fried Hound shifts from grinch to a real boy, but the whole time he was burying the man and his daughter I feel anxious and wanted to yell, “Burn them, don’t bury the dead!” Doesnt he know that?

It strikes me as odd that Dragonstone had nobody living there, not even squatters. The end scene with Tyrion and Dany in the Dragonstone strategy room, BOOM. Looking back on it now, the strategy that Dany thinks she is preparing for is so different to what she really ends up needing to prepare for...

As I watched Dany stepping into the throne room at Dragonstone, I wondered, would it be more interesting to know that Dany, Jon and Tyrion were all Targs and the Final There we’re back to the Targ dynasty? Or would it be more interesting if the Final Three of them represented Houses Targ, Stark, and Lannister? 

SIDE NOTE: Only one episode into S7, and I’m thinking that I don’t want all of S8 to be a never ending battle against the Night King, I’d like for that to be resolved earlier on, and the rest of the episodes are about resolution of th Game of Thrones, but something tells me I’m not going to get my way...

Edited by gingerella
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Episode 1

-Great opening with Walder Frey sitting at the head of his banquet hall before all his family members (just those worth noting he says). It took me a few seconds to remember how this could be as I knew Arya had slit his throat at the end of Season 6.

Ah! Right! Faceless Arya. I sat back and enjoyed. Have to say... those Frey's are dumber than posts. Walder was acting very un-Walder-like. Too – um – nice. (except for poisoning them all) You'd think a couple of them might have felt a bit uneasy before they drank the kool-aid wine.

-It was good to see Dolorous Edd greet Bran & Meera at the Castle Black back gate. I'd forgotten that he'd survived his way into becoming the Commander of the Night's Watch.

-Sansa challenges one of Jon's decrees during a war meeting at Winterfell. Jon takes a stand & asserts his position of authority. Little Lady Mormont continues to be badass.

-Cersei thinks making an alliance with Urine Greyjoy is a smart move because he has ships. Jaime thinks the idea is as stupid as the Greyjoys are.

-gross, repetitive scenes of Samwell (should be Sam-who-will-be-wise but in these scenes he's looking neither wise nor “well”) endlessly cleaning chamber pots and re-shelving tomes used by others. Oh, and succumbing to the siren song of the forbidden tomes locked away from him.

-Thormund “courts” Brienne as only he can (their scenes never fail to make me smile even though she is seriously unnerved by him). They are short scenes but make a big impact for me.

-Arya meets Lannister soldiers who share their food and drink with her, tell her how King's Landing has been destroyed and share stories about missing their family. Ed Sheeran sings her a song. (still a completely random insert although not the thawing of Arya's icy soul by regular-guy soldiers)

-The Hound – now Clagane to the Brothers – is with the Brotherhood without Banners. I'd forgotten that. They spend the night in the home of the man & child that he & Arya stayed with (long ago) and Arya convinced him not to kill. They died by winter – just like he told her they would. Skeletons still sitting on the bed. My favourite line of his “It's my fucking luck I end up with a band of fire worshipers”

And then he actually looks into the fire & sees the White Walkers marching from a mountain the shape of an arrow near the east side of the wall. (Another thing I had forgotten)

Clagane buries the two skeletons and says as much of the pray of the Seven that he could remember and finishes with “I'm sorry you're dead. You deserve better. Both of you.” These are the parts of the story I like best. No excitement, just adding to our understanding of the character.

-Knifey makes an appearance in the purloined Tome Sam is studying. On the page before he sees that there is a mountain of dragon glass under Dragonstone & sends a raven to Jon about it. (the dragon glass, not Knifey)

-brief first appearance of Jorah locked in a cell at the Citadel. He asks Sam if Daenerys has come yet. We only see him in a very dark profile but his voice gives him away. (not to Sam mind you. Not yet)

-Then, Daenerys arrives at Dragonstone, with our favourite team of Varys and Tyrion! The three dragon siblings seem to recognize it as Home. The music swells...

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One other thing I noticed this time - when Daenerys & her entourage arrived at Dragonstone we got a glimpse or two of a cave entrance lurking innocently behind Daenerys just after she landed. This was only 2 scenes after Sam discovered the mountain of dragon glass underneath Dragonstone yet I paid that cave entrance no heed. I'm pretty sure it's the one Jon leads her to in a later episode.

And still on the theme of things not previously noticed - I believe this was the first time we'd seen the Throne Room at Dragonstone. I don't remember Stannis ever having a scene there. He was nearly always in the strategy room, wasn't he?

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Episode 2

We got to see the alliance that Dany/Tyrion/Varys had brokered – and watch it disintigrate. Only Yara seemed the least bit sincere between: the Iron Born, the Usurper Elaria Sand and the beloved Lady Olenna. But it didn't matter.

The Yara – Elaria (Dornish) contingent was destroyed in the first of what I felt (and still feel) was just an expedient decision/battle led by Urine Greyjoy. It was the 1st thing of this season that disappointed me. The best part was seeing Theon still struggling with his PTSD from his treatment at the hands of Ramsey Bolton and succuming to his terror.

I enjoyed the series of scenes that led to Jon Snow (King in the North) deciding to “obey” Danys summons to Dragonstone (only because of the dragon glass) and making Sansa Queen of the North. That was good story telling.

I think we lost 2 sand snakes in the Urine Greyjoy battle but I was just meh about that.

Loved Jon Snow's reaction to Littlefinger intruding on his visit to his father's grave (Ned Stark, not the one WE know to be his father). He was having none of him. And warning him against laying a hand on Sansa - echoing Ned's neck choke of Littlefinger from the last time Ned & Catelyn saw each other outside Littlefinger's house of ill repute. Perfect. Yay for Jon!!!

Fan service reunion of Arya with Hot Pie and more importantly – with her direwolf, Nimeria. While feel-good sequences, I felt they were there for lip service more than story line. Felt a little squeezed in for me. (I'm remembering there were a few more of what I felt were lip service scenes over the season. And I was disappointed but don't know if it was just knowing the show is drawing to a close or if it was (hum) less then committed story telling.)

Yes, this episode was where I started feeling a bit underwhelmed by some scenes.

I did enjoy Sam & Jorah at the Citadel. Everything about it. The yellowy-brown goo oozing from the greyscale as Sam cut it off, and Sam's can-do attitude.

There was a scene or two with Cercei and Jamie in them, but having just seen them, I've already forgotten them.

Edited by Anothermi
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On 4/9/2019 at 5:30 PM, Anothermi said:

He was nearly always in the strategy room, wasn't he?

100% sure we never saw the Dragonstone throne room. That place was very cool.

On 4/8/2019 at 10:21 PM, gingerella said:

I wondered, would it be more interesting to know that Dany, Jon and Tyrion were all Targs

How could Tyrion be a Targaryen? Better question - why would Tyrion be a Targ? What could it serve?

Edited by WhiteStumbler
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19 minutes ago, WhiteStumbler said:

Better question - why would Tyrion be a Targ? What could it serve?

Agreed that thematically, Tyrion needs to be Tywin's son and bane, Cersei's brother and cancre, Jaime's brother and second great love, and the last living Lannister. The culmination of the dynasty. 

And speaking of which -- I'd completely forgotten that Cersei (told Jaime that she) is pregnant. 

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38 minutes ago, Pallas said:

I'd completely forgotten that Cersei (told Jaime that she) is pregnant. 

The witch told Cersei she would have 3 children. Cersei may have lied to Catelyn Stark about her "little black-haired beauty", and she could be lying now. Or prophecy is BS. Dany was told she wouldn't have children, but I am fairly certain that Jon + Dany = baby.

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3 hours ago, Pallas said:
3 hours ago, WhiteStumbler said:

Better question - why would Tyrion be a Targ? What could it serve?

Agreed that thematically, Tyrion needs to be Tywin's son and bane, Cersei's brother and cancre, Jaime's brother and second great love, and the last living Lannister. The culmination of the dynasty. 

And speaking of which -- I'd completely forgotten that Cersei (told Jaime that she) is pregnant. 

@WhiteStumbler, I only mentioned it because we had spitballed this very briefly at some point, thinking that perhaps Tywin hated him not only because his wife died giving birth to Tyrion, but also because he'd found that she'd been unfaithful to him. I'm not sure what purpose having Dany, Jon and Tyrion being Targs would serve A Show, maybe to show the pendulum swinging back to the Targ dynasty rule? Things seem to have turned to shit since then, with the exception of Aegon being crazy. But yeah, logically, @Pallas is right, Tyrion needs to be a Lannister because how sweet would justice and karma be to have the ill-gotten, despised by his sister and father dwarf end of being the last Lannister standing, and maybe the face of the head of House for the next generation of Lannisters, assuming he gets together with someone at the end.

I also forgot that Cersei said she was pregnant. Are we assuming it's Jaime's? She hasn't been with anyone else has she? I don't think she really is, to be honest, I think she's just batshit crazy and thinks she is.

We haven't talked of dummy Robin, who I think is still alive somewhere in The Vale. I wonder if we'll see him again. He's so annoying, and not really a prime time player, but still, it would be weird for A Show to end with no reference to him. He's a liability to anyone though, because he's so mentally unstable. Silly nitwit.

If Dany does get pregnant (I have this feeling we're going to see her in her first scene obviously preggers), the baby will be 3/4 Targ & 1/4 Stark. I suppose that's a nice bridge between the old rulers and House Stark, who seem to be the keepers of all that is old in the North, sort of like the Citadel of social norms and local historical facts, if you will. It seems like it would be important for them to survive and rally the North again, but for what I've no idea. I am still holding out hope for something, in addition to two dragons, that can wipe out the Dead quickly and efficiently, and allow A Show to focus at least 2 or three episodes on what happens after the Battle between the living and the dead. I want to know more about that than the actual battle.

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Still slogging through the earlier episodes of S07 because I don't remember them as well as the final 2.

Episode 3

Jon, Davos & anonymous Stark soldiers arrive at Dragonstone. Lovely but subtle greeting between Jon and Tyrion harking back to S01. The chemistry is still there. As they climb the snaking path to the castle proper Tyrion answers a question Jon didn't ask. His marriage to Sansa was a sham & never consumated. He let Jon know that she is smarter than she lets on. Jon: “She's starting to let on.”

Prophetic exchange:

Tyrion: Rule of thumb. Stark men don't fare well when they travel south.

Jon: But I'm not a Stark. (duh, duh, DUH) (even though he was talking “officially”)

Another good exchange after the dragons dive bomb over them and Jon & Co hit the floor:

Tyrion: (helping Jon up while Dragonstone denizens are still standing) I'd say you get used to them...

Tyrion: But you never really do.

Varys – Red Queen exchange... he questions why she was not there to greet Jon Snow. She says they did not part on good terms. She says she is bound for Volantis and he suggests she stay there, but she indicates she will return. She has to die here. Just like Varys! (note for the live/die lists)

Jon has an audience with Daenerys and refuses to bend the knee when asked directly. Good exchange re: positions of each. Varys arrives with news of Unrine Greyjoy's victory over Yara's fleet. Jon & Davos escorted by Dothraki to bathe and eat. Not prisoners... yet.

Theon rescued by friendly Iron Born but they think he is not worthy.

Urine arrives in King's Landing with Yara, Ellaria & her daughter as prisoners. Arg. The masses will support anyone perceived to be winners.

Urine arrives in the Red Keep like Tyrin Lannister did – on his horse. But with Yara, Ellaria & daughter in tow. Cercei promises her hand in marriage... when the war is won. Urine (naval) & Jamie (land) are her two leaders against all forces (yeh, right).

GREAT SCENE: Cersei imposes her punishment for Mycella's death on Ellaria. She kills her daughter the same way Mycella was killed. Poison. And ensures that Ellaria will be alive long enough to see her die & decompose. Yikes!

Cersei – excited by her victory over Ellaria – comes to Jamie and makes love with him (despite him being initially reluctant). She is no longer willing to hide the sibling relationship from the world... or at least the servants. (Jamie? Not so much)

Mycroft Holmes arrives from Bravos – Oh, mixing my favourite shows. Sorry.  The VISITOR FROM BRAVOS arrives and admits:  “The slave trade has experience a down turn, it's true.” in response to Cersei's counter argument as to who would be best for the Iron Bank to invest in.

Tyrion tries to out-emo Jon Snow, but admits he's failing. Gets Jon to ask for right to mine the Dragonglass. Tyrion convinces Dany to let him do that in exchange for a potential ally in the North – since she's lost both Dorne & the Iron Islanders. Tyrion is still on the fence about the existence of White Walkers, but letting Jon have the dragonglass is a win-win no matter if it is true or not. Ally< > for previously useless substance.

Sansa shows she is a good leader by preparing for Winterfell being the holdfast for the North in the event of a WW attack. Littlefinger seizes his chance and gives her His strategy for survival. Prepare for all possibilities. She seems uncertain about this but is called to an unknown visitor at the gate.

It's Bran & Meera. Sansa is overwhelmed. Bran – not so much. He's now the TER. Bigger things to express than feelings about siblings. (he does try to mansplain to her after she asks, but it's complicated. He gets her to leave by describing how beautiful she looked before being raped by Ramsey. Effective tactic – just not tactful. Empathy is not exactly a TER strong suit.

Sir Jorah is recovered from greyscale. He (tongue in cheek) states it must be from the rest and the climate! He definitely doesn't know anything about the cure the Maester describes. (wink, wink) And he's free to go. Jorah & Sam converse about what each will do, and why they will. Best feel-good moment? Sam holds out his hand to this formerly infectious man & they clasp hands with feeling.

The Head Maester praises Sam for saving Jorah and sets him to copying old manuscripts full of paper mites who like flesh as well. Sam had a brief moment of glory and then learned that his reward was to not be expelled from the Citadel. Back to the grindstone.

Back at the Strategy Room Tyrion narrates why the Unsullied will prevail at Casterly Rock (echos of Bronn proclaiming that with a few good men he could impregnate the impregnable Eyrie at the Vale.) Damn. BUT... Urine arrives to burn the ships the Unsullied arrived on and Grey Worm realizes there are not the numbers of Lannister soldiers there that they expected. Now the Unsullied are stranded in Casterly Rock and the bulk of Lannister soldiers are...

preparing to assault Highgarden, the Tyrell castle. With Jamie, Bronn & the Tarly men (sans Sam) in command. Oh the iron(born)y! NO CONTEST.

We don't even get to see the battle! But better than that? Jamie climbs up to the tower where Lady Olena awaits – to the strains of the Rains of Castermere – and we get to see Lady Olena's last stand: quoting from said song and getting her revenge on Cersei.  Jamie didn't have the heart for revenge. He had convinced Cersei to let him give Lady Olena a painless poison (after recounting the horrific plans Cersei had come up with.He's gotten soft methinks.) I'd forgotten that after Lady Olena had drunk all the poison, she graphically described Joffrey's death by poison and admitted that she had planned it. Also admitting she had never seen what that poison did until Joffrey died – but not seeming to regret how terrible an end it was. It is a memorable scene. No disappointments there and satisfying end to the episode.

Edited by Anothermi
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15 hours ago, WhiteStumbler said:

The witch told Cersei she would have 3 children. Cersei may have lied to Catelyn Stark about her "little black-haired beauty", and she could be lying now. Or prophecy is BS. Dany was told she wouldn't have children, but I am fairly certain that Jon + Dany = baby

Point taken about the three children, and Cersei's supposed one Baratheon child. I'm inclined to believe both the witch and Cersei, who's a frequent but infelicitous liar: she almost always over-acts. And she has no more imagination than any other narcissist. I don't think she has it in her to have made up the story about her lost child and her and Robert's contrasting grief, complete with a wifely, "The way men carry on..."

At the same time, A Show's on the side of prophecy, and the witch's came true in every other respect: especially that Cersei would marry a King but not the then-Crown-Prince. (I believe that the girl with Cersei was the girl who would: Oberyn's doomed sister.) So I'm going with continuity error, or, a decision by the showrunners to retroactively erase the black beauty, sort of a la Joffrey... 

Is Cersei pregnant now? She said so to Jaime when he came upon Qyborn in her chambers, acting more as her doctor than her Hand. That happened soon after Jaime pointed out to her that they had no dynasty left to leave. Of course she could have invented this pregnancy to manipulate Jaime or deceive herself. But I'm guessing it's real, and that this will add another layer to Jaime's eventual tragic choice and sacrifice "when next they meet."

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4 hours ago, Pallas said:

That happened soon after Jaime pointed out to her that they had no dynasty left to leave. Of course she could have invented this pregnancy to manipulate Jaime or deceive herself. But I'm guessing it's real, and that this will add another layer to Jaime's eventual tragic choice and sacrifice "when next they meet."

Great thoughts @Pallas! I can see three options with Cersei's alleged pregnancy:

1. She isn't really pregnant at all, but rather has some sort of tumor that makes her think she's growing something, but it's really the cancer that she has spawned because she is a malignant person herself, so how just that she begins growing a tumor spawned from all the hate and revenge she harbors within her?  Nothing to show us this might be so, except that it came as a surprise to A Viewer and I'm thinking the last time she and Jaime had twincest was too long ago?

2. She IS pregnant, but it's not Jaime's, instead, Qyburn has impregnated her with Mountainstein's spawn, because she has some ill thought out plan that her dynasty must survive with someone even stronger than she is, and who better than Mountainstein? I know, it's a bit daft but I say it only because Mountain has been loitering in the background all this time, and Cersei IS that crazy, and well, Qyburn...

3. She IS pregnant and it IS Jaime's, but he ends up making the difficult choice to kill her and the unborn spawn because theirs is an unholy union at best, and I can see Jaime wanting to snuff out any chance of a twincest spawn surviving them and wreaking havoc a la Joffrey. Jaime is sane enough I think, to realize that their off spring have been not survived for good reason, and I can see him wanting to be done with the madness, and with Cersei pretty much The Mad Queen at this point, it's the only redemption path he really has open to him that makes sense. Does he kill himself too, to make sure the entire lot of bad blood is over and done with? Perhaps, but I think he has to take her out, nothing else makes sense to me.

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Episode 4

Lannister forces on the march. BUT, thank the gods, we get a scene with Bronn & Jaime to start the episode. THAT is the kind of fan service I can get behind! (if indeed fan service was part of the motivation)

Bronn: I haven't got my castle.

Jaime: When we've won the war...

Then he sends Bronn off to “persuade” farmers to give up they harvests faster.

Cersei is feeling smug as she informs an impressed Mycroft Holmes tool of the Bank of Bravos that their loan will be paid back imminently. Much smugness all around.

Littlefinger tries to wheedle his way into Bran's good graces. He gives him... KNIFEY! Along with some pretty story of failing to die for Bran's mother, but being here to protect her children and not knowing who Knifey belonged to (and we know he told Ned it belonged to him but Tyrion won it in a bet). He tries empathy (snort) suggesting that Bran has been through so much and has returned to a world in such chaos. Bran speaks: “Chaos is a ladder.” Littlefinger's face shows that he didn't realize crippled little Bran was actually a... (not sure what) Meera interupts luckily and Littlefinger takes his leave with one telling clue as to why he was there in the first place “I'm sorry to have disturbed you, Lord Stark.” Bran: “I'm not Lord Stark.” The poor Balish's noggin must have been bouncing like a ping-pong ball. This was definitely not one of the “all” eventualities he had foreseen.

The following Meera / Bran scene is still poignant. Meera is leaving to be with her family and expects Bran to share her emotions on their separation – after all they had been through together. Bran has already left her behind. He is the Three Eyed Raven. Not an individual like others as he's seen and knows all that they know, collectively. (or is getting there as fast as he can.) “You died in that cave.” says Meera.

Arya returns home, and in a call-back to S01 where the guards at the gate to King's Landing wouldn't believe she was a girl- much less a noble one, the Keystone Cops at this gate won't believe she's Arya (at least they didn't call her a boy). She wanders away while they are arguing about what they are going to with her. They at least admit to Sansa that someone claiming to be Arya arrived and they lost her. Sansa finds her in front of Ned's statue in the crypt. Satisfying reunion. No info dump. Just slightly awkward sisterly exchange as they recognize how much the other has changed.

Then they both go find Bran under the Stark Weirwood tree. Arya gets a slightly warmer greeting than Sansa got (IMHO), but Sansa gets to explain to Arya how Bran could have “seen” her at the Crossroads. Bran lets Sansa know why Arya was considering heading to King's Landing (because Cersei was on her list). Sansa looks a bit concerned as she'd just learned about Arya's list of people she was going to kill and anxiously asks her who else is on the list. Arya says most of them are dead now and and Sansa's anxiety eases.

Over to their other “brother” Jon. On Dragonstone he shows Dany the dragonglass inside the cave off the landing-beach and then, more importantly, shows her cave drawings that the CotF made a long time ago. Dany wonders if they were there so long ago that there were not yet men in that land. Jon claims no, and shows her drawings of the 1st men. Dany then wonders if the 1st men and the CotF fought each other (which we know via Bran that they did) but again Jon drags her over to ANOTHER drawing showing the CotF & the 1st men facing WhiteWalkers together. (something we didn't learn via Bran – thanks Jon) He stresses to her that this proves the existence of the WW since the beginning and she seems to believe him. She agrees to help him with her armies and her dragons... if he bends the knee. Checkmate.

They emerge from the cave to find po-faced Tyrion & Varys bringing the good news and the bad news about the Unsullied capture of Casterly Rock. (including the loss of her ally Olena & her people-feeding lands to Cersei's army. Dany is pissed and says she will take her dragons to the Red Keep and burn it down. Varys & Tyrion counsel her against this so she asks Jon's (the impetuous) advice. He takes the long route of explaining that she has proved (so far) that she is a ruler who can bring about the change that the people long for. BUT if she starts burning down Keeps with her dragons they will see her as no different than her forbearers. (What to do?)

At Winterfell Brienne patiently continues to train Pod. Arya watches and then asks Brienne – who she saw beat the Hound – to train HER. They fight and it becomes clear she in not in need of training, just exercise. Sansa & Littlefinger observe this. Sansa appears perturbed and LF's ping-pong balls turn back into cogs and he adds a new possibility of achieving his goal – with a renewed smug smile & nod at the two women combatants.

At Dragonstone again where Jon & Davos are taking a stroll to the beach. And in case we hadn't caught the looks, Davos asks Jon what he thinks of Dany and when told he thinks she has a good heart, remarks that he has noticed Jon staring at her “heart”. (Men still like to make fun of each other in matters of sex/love.) A bit of exposition from Missande, whom they encounter part way down the very long stairs from the castle, that where she comes from there is no marriage, so no bastards. Further that Dany freed her from her slave master and Missande stays with her because she believes in her. (This must be for Jon & Davos' benefit because we've known this for a long time.) And then...

An Iron Islands ship arrives in the harbour bringing Theon-lite. First time Jon & Theon have seen each other since Jon left for the Wall. But the world of pain Theon created for the Starks is flashing in Jon's eyes as they greet. Theon does his best I'm-not-really-grovelling grovel. Which helps Jon tell him that what Theon did for Sansa is the only reason he's not going to kill him. Nice little segue to drop a bit of character development and let us know that despite the counsel we heard the men give her, Dany has gone to...

The place where the Lannister armies are amassing (because that's where the show takes us at that cliff hanger conversation). Useful exposition. The gold is safely delivered to King's Landing but the troupes are spread so thin that if they were attacked, the back could not arrive in time to fight. Tarly Sr advises whipping stragglers but the kinder, gentler Jaime orders that they be warned that this will happen first. Then a bit of humour as Jaime and Bronn grill Dickon Tarly (Bronn sniggers) about his 1st battle. Jaime shows empathy (losing a hand can do that to a kingslayer) and Bronn proceeds to put down his fancy-lad-school training and then – putting his superior survival-school training to use – hears (something) (I just heard everything go quiet). Then the pounding of horses hoofs as Jaime gives the order to form a wall (not to build one). The Dothraki hordes scare Bronn so much he tells Jaime to get back to King's Landing because he is a commander, not a infantry man. Of course Jaime refuses. THEN a dragon appears with Dany a stride and burns a path right through the wall. (In a bit of – perhaps unconscious – fan service to us unsullied we get to see 3 beautiful horses running away from the battle. Riderless. See? A show isn't a dick to these horses! So There! OK. We'll take what we can get, but the accusation stands.)

Lots of fast and bloody action that clarifies that war is hell, but I liked the shot where the Dothraki take the shoot-arrows-from-a-galloping-horse position. Holding that in my mind to get through the rest of the mayhem.

Meanwhile, Dany on Drogon lay waste to the carts of grain. Now everyone's gonna fight without food. Even Steven. Jaime tries arrows against Drogon & Dany. No go. He tells Bronn where to find Qyburn's weapon, Scorpion (thanks WS). Bonn tells him to get it himself but Jaime points out he can't shoot it with only one hand. (Bronn thinks “sissy” and goes). But then a show resumes being a dick to horses as unknown Dothraki slices the leg of Bronn's horse, making him spill his purse of gold coins. Oh Nos! Seriously. Except for the horse maiming, this is one thrilling and revolting sequence. Still on the edge of my seat. Divided loyalties what with wanting Bronn to survive and Drogon to survive too. Good Job Show. And then the shot of Tyrion face, viewing all this from a ridge, mirrors this viewer's divided loyalties.

Bronn proves that Qyburn's weapon can truly damage a dragon, but Drogon and Dany have the equilibrium to destroy it before they touch ground beside a lake. And Bronn has the presence of mind to know when to abandon it before then. Jaime decides to attack Daenerys while she is trying to dislodge the arrow from Drogon's limb and Tyrion curses Jaime's stupidity from atop his ridge viewpoint. Drogon faces Jaime galloping towards them and let's loose. But someone comes flying out of nowhere and knocks Jaime into the lake er, make that river.

Last shot. Jaime being dragged down, down deep into the lake. Moral? Don't wear armour for swimming.

One of the best episodes of the whole show. Hands down. And I don't really like battle scenes.

Edited by Anothermi
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On 4/13/2019 at 2:13 PM, Anothermi said:

One of the best episodes of the whole show. Hands down. And I don't really like battle scenes.

Outstanding recap! Thanks for that. Loved the way Drogon, hurt but not badly hurt,, lands next to the scorpion and SMASHES it with his tail.

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19 hours ago, WhiteStumbler said:

Loved the way Drogon, hurt but not badly hurt,, lands next to the scorpion and SMASHES it with his tail.

Yes. That confused me at first. I thought it was just another wagon, but he was ensuring it's total destruction with that final SMASH of his tail after he'd torched it.

I didn't mention it again, but those ripples on the river behind  Drogon's  approach after Bronn fired the 1st arrow and missed? So much attention to detail!

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Episode 6.

Opens on a deserted strategy room at Dragonstone and the camera pans up the table/map of Westeros to Castle Black and then beyond the Wall. Seque to the little band of Brooders heading to (only Clagane knows I think, 'cuz he saw it in a fire).

Walk & Talk exposition:

Tormond schools Jon in “pride and principles kill many innocent folk”. Reminding him that Mance refused to bend the knee and many free folk died because of it.

Gendry admits this is the 1st time he's ever seen snow. Asks how they keep their balls from freezing off. Tormund states that it is refreshing and doesn't smell like pig shit like the south (which he calls Winterfell and Jon refutes). Tormond goes on to explain that you have to keep moving to keep your balls warm: 3) walking's good; 2) fighting's better; 1) fucking's best. Jon points out that there isn't a living woman within a hundred miles from here. Tormond leans over to face Gendry and says: “We have to make do with what we've got.” Gendry drops back.

Gendry walks with the Bw/oB folk (plus the Hound) and Thoros asks “you still mad at us, boy?” (Gendry IS and points they sold him to a witch). Thoros clarifies “Priestess” but admits it's a subtle distinction. He describes what Melissandre did to him and Clegane suggests it doesn't sound so bad. When Gendry exclaims that they wanted to kill him, Sandor points out that they didn't, so Gendry should stop his whinging. Gendry claims he's not but Sandor points out: “Your lips and moving and you're complaining about something. That's whinging.” Pointing to Dondarion he states “He's been killed 6 times and you don't hear HIM complaining.” (Mic drop)

Jon tells Jorah how much he admired his father. Jorah states he deserved a better son. They deplore the way Commander Mormont met his death and Jon states that they avenged his death on every mutineer. (they “found justice.”) Then Jon abhored how his own good, honourable father met his end on the executioner's block. Jorah revealed that Jon's father wanted HIM executed, but them revealed that he was right. Jon rejoined that he knew, but that he was glad Ned didn't catch Jorah. Then he tries to give Longclaw back to Jorah, who refuses because he shamed his father's name and his house, so he forfitted the right to the sword and that it is Jon's because his father gifted it to him. (end of 6 minutes of catch up)

Winterfell – Arya and Sansa on the balcony where Ned and Catelyn used to watch the children train in the yard. Arya tells Sansa about sneakily practicing archery when no one was around, and when she finally got a bullseye she heard a slow clap from above and Ned was there smile his approval at her regardless of what her “place” was supposed to be. But Sansa senses there is something more and ask for it. Arya unrolls the scroll she stole from Littlefinger's room (probably last episode which I didn't recap). It is the only copy of Sansa's letter to Rob after Joffrey had their father killed. It was dictated by Cersei, but Arya is back under the Statue of Baelor and seething at her sister. Sansa tries to keep cool, but she knows the damage that scroll could do to her support in the north. They part with the tension between them thick as ice.

Beyond the Wall – It's Clegane and Tormund this time. Tormund is constantly poking the obvious (to him) sore spots in everyone's psyche. Fire, of course, for Clegane. After being told that Sandor was pushed into a fire, he retorts “ever since you've been mean.” which gets him a “fuck off” from the Hound. Then he says he doesn't believe Clegane IS mean. He has sad eyes. They manage to turn the conversation to his plans for Brienne and the huge, beautiful babies they will make. The Hound is incredulous that he is with HER, so Tormund has to admit not yet, but he believes it will happen because of the way she looks at him. Clegane says “Like she wants to carve you up and eat your liver?” Tormund muses “You DO know her” The exchange ends with the Hound muttering “How did a mad fucker like you live this long?” Tormund “I'm good at killing people.”

Next up: Jon and Beric Dondarian. They share being brought back to like by a follower of the Lord of Light. Not much else. But Beric, while not understanding what the L o L wants from him, knows that he is a soldier and that he is not fighting for any king but FOR life and against death. Even though death will always win, the fight is worth it and he and Jon, while not finding joy while they are here, can keep others alive. Those who can't defend themselves. This touches a chord in Jon as he recalls a part of his Night's Watch oath “I am the shield that guards the realms of men.” The the other thing I took away from this was Beric pointing out that Jon doesn't look a bit like his dad.

And then Sandor sees the mountain that he saw in the fire. The one shaped like an arrowhead.

Dragonstone – a bit of light talk in front of the fire between Dany and Tyrion outlining that Dany and Jon are attracted to each other – because the viewers can't see the broad hints strewn everywhere. Then they get down to the impending visit to Cersei. Tyrion brings up Dany's plan to “break the wheel” and points out the her successful ancester, Aegon, built that wheel – and he succeeded using fear as his ruling tool. Just like Tywin and Joffrey. Tyrion raises the topic of her weakness – her tendency to do things impulsively. This lead to a discussion about long term goals of her reign including after her death, and Dany forcuses (impulsively) on him making plans that include her death and the discussion goes not farther.

Beyond the Wall – in a blinding snow storm. The battle of the gigantic, blue-eyed BEAR! (I prefer the banter myself) Beric and Thoros ignite their swords and light it on fire! Jorah finishes off the beast with what must have been a valerian steel dagger (given it's immediate effect)! But not before Thoros gets bitten and... (RIP anonymous Wildling #1). Beric burns the bites on Thoros chest with his sword to nullify the zombifying poison.

Winterfell – Sansa asks Littlefinger what to do about Arya having her letter to Robb. (Littlefinger tells her he doesn't know where Arya got it. R_i_g_h_t.) He lays out a plan to Sansa in his oblique way so that she can believe it is her idea. It involves Brienne being honour bound to protect both Catelyn's girls. And would be bound to intercede if one planned to harm the other. The wheels in Sansa's head “go round and round”.

Beyond the Wall – the intrepid band of brooders marches on. (under an overhanging rock that looks like a monument had been spontaineously erected to the dead zombearli) Jorah asks a still mobile Thoros about the famous flaming sword event at the seige of Pike. Thoros was so drunk he doesn't remember it. (Whitestumbler has chronicled the dialog for us so I leave it at that.)

Our group spies a small line of zombonies below them walking single file. They are led by a WW and arrive at the camp just vacated where the fire is still burning and one shoe remains of the deceased Wilding. They are ambushed by our gang and a fight ensues. Jorah is getting bested by a zomboni just as Jon's(?) valerian sword strikes the WW. At the moment he disintigrates all the zombonies shatter into their respective body pieces & fall to the ground inert. Except one. Must have been a loaner from another WW. Not so scary now, are you! He is taken down by a punch from Tormund and Clegane lying on top of him. He lets out an ear piercing scream before they get him completely subdued. He's calling all zomboni dogs! Jon sends Gendry ahead back to the Wall to get a message to Daenerys about what is happening. The follow soon after, but the zombi hordes are faster than they are and they get surrounded on a little island in the middle of a frozen lake. It takes another poor Wildling bringing up the rear to die because the hordes swarm him on the ice and they all fall through. (RIP Wildling #2). And so the stand off begins. Zombonies never got swiming lessons and they die by fire. There version of rock and a hard place.

Gendry gets as far as the dead bear while this is happening. Good diversion guys. Night falls, no buddy is wearing hats but still seem to be able to feel their extremities. (this IS a fantasy after all). Gendry has kept up his pace, but he trips and falls and can't get up. No Worries. He's right outside the gate. They come out and get him 'cuz they were watching at the wall!

Morning dawns at the island of scant refuge and we learn (RIP Thoros of Myr). Beric lights his sword. Jon keeps Clegane from drinking the rest of Thoros' alcohol and dumps it on Thoros. At least they won't have to fight againt him. Discussion on the meaning of the zombonies self distructing when Jon killed the WW and Jorah suggests they concentrate on the WW to gain a bit of advantage. Jon vetos this idea because they have to bring their captive zomboni back in mint condition. Beric suggest they only need to concentrate on HIM, pointing to the Night King at the top of the hill and saying “He's the one that created them all!” (when did he learn that?) Jon doesn't understand and Beric explains that the LoL (and Mel) brought the two of them back for a reason. But like all good oracles, he's not quite believable and Jon not buying it.

Winterfell – opens with the maester delivering a letter to Sansa. An invitation to King's Landing (we KNOW what it says. We saw this in Season One). But, Sansa sends Brienne instead of going herself. (with 20/20 hindsight, and the recent scene where Littlefinger points out that Brienne would be forces to intervene if it looked like one sister was going to harm the other, this action make a lot of sense. Although it didn't upon 1st viewing).

Dragonstone – very brief scene where Dany gets on her dragons and against Tyions frantic pleas rides off into the rising sun. (so to speak)

Beyond the Wall – Good old Clegane lets his temper get the best of him and throws stones at the silent zombonies at the lake's edge. The second stone – a big one – alerts them that the ice is once again frozen! D'oh! Let the battle commence. (I hate CGI zomboni battles) I'll let you imagine the details, but I think we got to see (Rip Wildling #3) bite the dust early in this battle. Good thing they volunteered or it would have had to be another character who we know something about. Also of note? A zomboni, who fell into the water via a hole Clegane created with his hammer, emerged again to try to drag Tormund in. Guess water just slows them down but doesn't actually stop them. AND another (RIP Wildling #4) bites the dust while trying to help Jon drag “our captive zomboni” away from the rest of the zombonies. He gets to scream in agony at least.

Dany & the Dragons arrive just in time to liven up a flagging party (of bedraggled fighters). He refuses Danys proffered hand to fight off a zombonie – or just to create tension – and the Night King readies his Ice Spear (aptly named for whatever the Ice equivanlent of Scorpion is... NOT... but it should be). Everybody else gets on Drogon but just enough zombonies attack Jon to keeping from climbing aboard which gives the Night King time to take aim and bring down Viseryon (RIP yellow tinged one). After a brief view of Dany's gutted face the jump right to Viseryon sinking into the lake infront of the stunned faces on the Drogon bus. But now is not the time for mourning. Jon and the Night King have a staring match until Jon sees another spear being readies by a WW minion. He yells to Dany to go and gets knocked into a hole in the lake by a couple of zombonies and doesn't come up. Dany does the right thing and gets Drogon to fly away. Jon, like a bedraggled cat, emerges from the water after everyone (WW and Dragonsand cargo at least) have gone. He puts his wet face on the ice and it doesn't stick! (that's going too far to suspend disbelief). Then the remaining zombonies converge on his (he's a sitting duck) but!!!! Deux Ex Benjen arrives on a horse, swinging a ball of fire and swaps places with Jon. Uncle Benjen IS THE BEST STARK.

At Eastwatch – (I believe). Dany and Jorah stand on top of the Wall looking intently North of the Wall while Drogon flys about sounding for all the world like he is keening the loss of his brother. Jorah reluctantly reminds Dany that they have to go. After a minute she turns to leave but Jorah is struck dumb by what his sees. Jon riding up to the gate. On the boat that will take them back to Dragonstone Dany gets to see all of Jon's stab wounds as Davos (and somebody) get his frozen clothes off him and settle him in a warm bed.

At Winterfell – tension ramps up. Sansa searches Arya's room and in seconds finds her bag of “faces”. Arya appears behind her and in a very menacing way answers Sansa's nervous questions. Not so subtly implying that she could add Sansa's face to her collection whenever she wants. But not today, so she walks out. Sibling rivalry and them some.

On a ship bound for Dragonstone – Jon awakes. Dany is there. Jon apologizes for causing the loss of one of Dany's children and calls her “Dany”. She laughs at that but claims the last person to call her that was Viserys and he wouldn't want to be in that company. He calls her my Queen. She humbly accepts the honour and hope she lives up to his trust. They do a lot of meaningful staring. She leaves, he tries to sleep.

North of the Wall – Last scene – The Night King drags Viseryon from the lake and with a touch makes his own dragon weapon. (muh-ha-ha)

Edited by Anothermi
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Outstanding recap!

9 hours ago, Anothermi said:

Tormond leans over to face Gendry and says: “We have to make do with what we've got.”

Tormund's obvious crush on Brienne has been a shaft of comic gold in a dark story. It makes me think of this bit of dialogue from S4E09 (The Watchers on The Wall):

Tormund: That was a night to remember. Of course, I'd had a good bit to drink. (chuckles) Her fangs were sharp, but she knew how to use them. And she was nice and soft down below. No, she was no ordinary beast. Many is the man who-
Ygritte: I know you never fucked a bear. You know you never fucked a bear. Right now I don't want to think about the bear you never fucked.

9 hours ago, Anothermi said:

Beric burns the bites on Thoros chest with his sword to nullify the zombifying poison.

I think it was to cauterize the wound, not because of anything else.

9 hours ago, Anothermi said:

Beric suggest they only need to concentrate on HIM, pointing to the Night King at the top of the hill and saying “He's the one that created them all!” (when did he learn that?)

In the flames, of course! /s
It seems weird that this little c**** in the WW armor wasn't foreshadowed before - for instance, why not have some of the zombonis at Hardhome fall when Jon kills the WW? It is annoying that A Show knows where it is going and yet passes up opportunities to show us what is going on, so that A Show is forced to throw in some retcon dialogue to paper it over. Like with the stonemen - never showed up in any dialogue until just before Jorah and Tyrion were attacked by them. Grrrrrr...

Edited by WhiteStumbler
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3 hours ago, WhiteStumbler said:

I think it was to cauterize the wound, not because of anything else.

Yah. I dithered about the reason myself. I knew it would be to cauterize in any other show, but thought that being killed/ wounded by a zomboni would also start the turning process. At Hardhome those who died and turned were not all killed by WW. But, again, we DID see the Night King make the "All Rise" motion, so it may have been down to him that the dead reanimated. He HAS become a lot more powerful over the seasons.

I suppose that Thoros wasn't injured badly enough to require intervention (like I thought when I wrote that). The only method of intervention we know of, requires the insertion  of dragonglass into the heart. (ala Benjen but we know he was attacked by WW)

3 hours ago, WhiteStumbler said:

for instance, why not have some of the zombonis at Hardhome fall when Jon kills the WW?

This IS annoying isn't it. The they-don't-need-to-know imperative of the show runner. We got that same kind of approach in all of the Winterfell scenes this episode. Sansa and Arya, all of a sudden, start acting like when they were children! We buy into it because it is familiar, but it was in "stark" contrast to how they had related to each other in the preceding episodes.

Edited by Anothermi
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A terrific recap, Anothermi! 

1 hour ago, Anothermi said:

Sansa and Arya, all of a sudden, start acting like when they were children!

This authorial misdirection last season still makes me lash my tail. In order to sell the supposed mistrust between the sisters, the writers sacrificed our sharing the new intimacy that actually did spring from their reunion. 

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